French investors may participate in privatization of Sovcomflot

SovcomflotThe issue for privatization of Sovcomflot at a meeting of the Russian-French Council on Economic, Financial, Industrial and Trade Issues (CEFIC) was not discussed, but Russia would be happy if French investors expressed a desire to participate and acquire a stake in the company. At a series of meetings from the Russian-French forum participated the Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin and the French Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapen. The privatization of Sovcomflot, where will be sold 25% minus 1 share, is scheduled for May 2017 and the government expects to raise about 30 billion rubles from the sale.

“The deal on Sovcomflot involves the participation of a wide range of investors, an exchange placement on the Moscow Stock Exchange. If French banks or French investors want to purchase a package of this company, we, of course, will be happy to see them as co-investors”, said the head of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Maxim Oreshkin.

The French Finance and Economy Minister Michel Sapin added that the participation of French investors in Russian privatization is indeed being considered, but this was not discussed at the meeting of the CEFIC today.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said earlier that the privatization of Sovcomflot (25% minus 1 share) is scheduled for March-April 2017, but later was postponed with one more month. The government expects to receive about 30 billion rubles from it. In 2015, the deal was planned to raise 24 billion rubles, but was abandoned due to unfavorable economics environment.

Sovcomflot is the largest Russian shipping company, specializing in transportation of hydrocarbons, servicing of offshore exploration and production of oil and gas. The company is currently 100% state-owned, but scheduled for series of privatization issues in 2017-2019, which aims to reduce the state share to 25% plus one share.